Forget Easter eggs and the usual chocolate nests filled with mini eggs – actually retract that, mini eggs are everything! I mean, is it really Easter without mini eggs?
During Easter I tend to make my mini egg nest cupcakes that always go down a treat, but this year I found that I was bored of the prospect of making them. Not because I don’t like them, because I do and usually end up eating a few too many, but this year I was feeling inspired to do something different – or should I say, a lot of different things.
I already knew I wanted to make chocolate bark decorated with mini eggs and pastel sprinkles, but that didn’t seem enough. So of course I started by scouring Pinterest for inspiration.
I found loads of ideas, but two stuck with me: nest macaroons and meringues. How did I never think of these before?!
But first let’s start with the Easter bark.
It’s pretty simple to do. All that’s needed is:
– chocolate (dairy or non-dairy)
– decorations (mini eggs, sprinkles etc)
– baking tray
– baking parchment
1. Sort out your decorations – have them out in bowls so they are easy to get to at the end.
2. Melt the chocolate using water in a saucepan and a bowl on top skimming the water. Put a handful of chunks in first and let them melt, then continue adding handfuls until all the desired amount of chocolate has melted.
3. While melting the chocolate, or afterwards, get a baking tray and cut some baking parchment so it covers the bottom of the tray. Then either by using a ladle or holding the bowl (you may need a tea towel as the bowl maybe hot) gentle pour the melted chocolate into a rectangle shape. Tip: start small then expand the rectangle size if you’ve got enough chocolate.
4. After the chocolate is done, it’s now time to add your decorations however you want.
5. Now all that’s left to do is to place the baking tray into the fridge for around 2 hours.
6. After its chilled you can break it up how you like. Enjoy!
– 70g Egg whites (I find it easier to buy a carton of egg whites)
– 100g Caster sugar
– A few drops of vanilla extract
– Electric mixer or handheld
– Piping bag
– Piping nozzle (I used M853)
– Baking tray
– Baking parchment
1. Preheat your oven to 100º.
2. Beat the egg white in your mixer on a slow-medium speed (or with a handheld electric whisk) until they start to foam, then turn the speed up to a medium – I was on a 6 on my KitchenAid at this point.
3. When your egg whites start to form stiff peaks, this is when you can start to add the caster sugar. My top tip at this point is to do this slowly! I tend to put a tablespoon amount in and make sure that has disappeared before adding another tablespoon. Continue until all the caster sugar has been incorporated and your meringue mixture is glossy white.
4. Get your piping bag and nozzle ready. Before you do anything else, get your baking tray ready with some baking parchment on it.
5. Spoon your meringue mixture into the piping bag and get ready to pipe. To create nests it’s fairly simple. All you need to do is draw a spiral with the mixture – create 2 complete spirals then move the mixture to go on top of the outer circle to create a second layer. I think I did this twice, but do it until you’re happy with your nests. With this recipe I made around 8 meringue nests.
6. Now place the baking tray into the oven for 1 hour 45 mins / 2 hours, depending if your oven is good with keeping it’s temperature. When you put the meringues in do NOT open your oven.
Tip: If you want to prevent cracking, it sometimes works if after the cooking time you turn your oven off but leave the meringues in there and let them cool down along with the oven.
7. To decorate, you can whatever you fancy. I chose to simply put mini eggs in them, but you could add a little melted white chocolate to drip in the middle so the mini eggs stick to the meringue.
To be complete honest, I don’t have the recipe I used to share. The reason is that I looked up three recipes and mixed them, and I can’t exactly remember what was from where. So, I’ll leave the three amazing recipes I looked at so you can decide for yourself which one you might want to use.
I found this one by Inspired By Charm on Pinterest and thought his photography was great. In addition I used these two vegan versions, one from the Minimalist Baker (my favourite food blogger) and The Simple Veganista.
The one thing I can say from my experience of making these macaroon nests is that I regret not adding chocolate to them. Whether it was in the middle of the nest, or the bottom, it would have adding another texture and complimentary flavour to them. So make sure you do this!
If this post has inspired you to make any of these make sure you tag me on Instagram!
Got any Easter treat recipes of your own? Feel free to share them below.